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01 02 01 12 1928 3
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Page 4THE MILITANT December 1, 192. THE DRAFT PROGRAM OF THE COl. NTER CONTINUED FROM LAST ISSUE The matter stands quite differently in the new draft program of the Comintern. In accordance rwit the revisionist evolution of its authors since 1924, the draft, as we have seen, chooses the directly opposite path. Butthe solution of the question of Socialism in onccountry in one way or another determines the significance of the WHOLE draft as a Marxian or a revisionist document.
Of course the draft program carefully, persist ently and severally puts forward, emphasizes and explai the difference between the Communist and reformist formulation of questions.
But these assurances do not solve the problem.
We have a situation something like that of a ship which is supplied and even overloaded with numerous Marxian mechanisms and appliances while it: mainsail is raised so that it is purposely opened for all revisionist and reformist winds.
Those who have learned from the experience of the last three decades and particularly from the marvelois experience of China during the recent years ve learned to understand the powerful dialelc interdependence between the class struggle and programatical Party documents, will understand when we say that the new revisionist sail can turn to naught all the safety appliances of Marxism and Leninism. That is why we are coni pelled to dwell in greater detail on this cardinal question which will for a long time determine the development and destiny of the Communist Inter!
national. THE THEORETICAL TRADITION OF THE PARTY.
The draft program used with deliberate intenr tion the expression victory of Socialism in one cotintry so as to secure the external, purely vcr bal, identification of its text with Lenin article of 1915, which has so ruthlessly, not to say crimin ally, been misused during the discussion on the question of building up a Socialist society in one countryu. The draft employs the same method elsewhere by alluding to Lenin words as a confirmation, Such is the methodology of the draft.
Of the great wealth of Marxian literature and the treasure of Lenin works;directly ignoring everything that Lenin said and wrote and cry thing that he did, ignoring the Party pro gram and the program of the Young Comr munist League, ignoring the opinions express ed by all Party leaders, without exception, in the the. entire epoch of the October Revolution, when the question stood categorically (and cat egorically to what extent. ignoring what the authors of the program themselves, Stalin and Bucharin, said up to 1924 inclusivefaltogether two quotations from Lenin, one from his article on the United States of Europe written in 1915 and another from his unfinished posthumous. publication on cooperation written in 1923, have been used in defense of the theory of national sociali which was created to meet the exigencies of the struggle against socalled Trotskyisrn at the end of 1924 or the beginning of 1925. Every at disproves these two quotations of a few. e whole of Marxism and Leninism is simply et aside. These two artificially snatched out and grossly and epigonically misinterpreted. quotations are taken as a basis of the new purely revisionist theory which is unbounded from the viewpornt of its political consequences. We are. witnessing the efforts to graft, by scholastic and sophist methods, to the Marxian trunk, an abso lutelyialien branch which will be grafted but will inexorably poison and kill the whole tree.
At the Seventh Plenum of the Stalin declared (not for the first time. The question of Socialist economic construction. in one country was for the FIRST time advanced in the Party by Lenin in 1915. Stenographic report. of. the Seventh Plenum. vOur emphasis. Thus it is admitted here that prior to 1913 the question of Socialism in one country was unknown.
Stalin and Bficharin do not venture to encroach upon the entire Marxian tradition on the question of the intemational character of the proletarian revolii tion, We will take noterof this. rHowever, let us see what Lenin said for the first time in 1915 in contradistinction to what Marx, Engels and Lenin himself had said prior to that. In 1915 Lenin said. Uneven economic and political development is an unconditional law of capitalism. From here it follows that the triumph of Socialism Is, to begin wrtb, possible in several or even in only one individr ual capitalist country. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and ORGANIZED SOCIALIST PRODUCTION, would be up in arms against the rest of the capitalist world, attracting oppressed classes of the other countries to its side, causing insurrections in those countries against the capitalists and the acting in caseof need, even with military power against the exploiting clnss es and their governments. Vol. 13, page 133.
Our emphasis. What did Lenin have in mind? That the victory of Socialism, that is, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, is possible at first in one country, which, because of this very fact, will stand up against capitalism. The proletarian State, in order to be able to resist an attack and to undertake a revolutionary offensive on its own, will at first have to organize Socialist production. e. it will have to organize the operation of the factories taken from the capitalists. That is all.
The victory of Socialism was, as is wellrknown, first accomplished in Russia, and the First Workr ers State, in order to defend itself against world intervention, had first of all to organize Socralist production. By the victory of Socialism in one country, Lenin consequently did not cherish the fantasy of a selfrsufficing Socialist society, and in a backward country at that, but something that was much more realistic, namely, that which the October revolution has accomplished in our coun»
try in therirst period of its existence.
Does this, perhaps, need to be proven? There are so many proofs for that, that the only diffir culty we have is in choosing the best.
In the theses on war and peace (January 7, 1918) Lenin spoke of the Necessity of a certain period of time. AT LEAST SEVERAL MONTHS, FOR THE VICTORY OF SOCIALISM in Russia Vol. 15, page 64. At the beginning of the same year, e. 1918.
Lenin wrote in his article entitled As to Left Wing Childishness and Petty Bourgeois Tendenr cies, directed against Bucharin, the following. If, let us say, State capitalism could be estab»
lished here within six months, that would be a tremendous achievement and the surest guarantee that within a year SOCIALISM will be definitely established and have become invincible. Vol. 18, part 2, page Our emphasis. How could Lenin set such a short period for the definite establishment of Socialism? What material productive and social content did he put into these words?
This question will at once appear in a different light if you recall that on April 29, 1918, Lenin said in his report to the All Russian Central Ex; ec utive Committee of the Soviet Government: It is hardly to be expected that our next general tion, which will be more highly developed, Will ef fect a complete transition to Socialism. Ibicl. page 240. On December 3, 1919, at the Congress of Com!
munes and Artels, Lenin spoke even more deflfl itely, saying. We know that we cannot establish a Socialist system at the present time. It will be well if our children and perhaps our grandchildren will be able to establish it. V(Vol. 16, page 398. In which of these two cases was Lenin right?
was it when he spoke of the definite establish; ment of Socialism within twelve months, or when he left it, not for our children but our grand children to establish the socialist order. Lenin was right in both cases for he had in mind two entirely different and incommensurable stages of Socialist construction.
By the definite establishment of Socialism in the first case Lenin meant not the building up of a Socialist society within a year or within several months, that is, he did not mean that the classes will be done away with, that the contradictions between town and country will be eliminated; he meant the RESTORATION OF PRODUCTION IN THE FACTORIES IN THE HANDS OF THE PROLETARIAN STATE, and the possibil»
ity to exchange products between town and coun try. The very shortness of the term is in itself a sure key to an understanding of the whole per spective.
Of course even for this limited and immediate task too short a term was set at the beginning of 1918. It is this purely pratical miscalculation that Lenin derided at the Fourth Congress of the Come intern when he said we were more foolish then than we are now. But we had a correct view of the general perspective and did not for a mo ment believe that it is possible to set up a com!
plete Socialist order in the course of twelve months, and in a backward country at that. The attainment of this main and final aimwthe construction of a Socialist societyiwas left by Lenin to three whole generationSvcurselves, our children and our grandchildren.
Is it not clear that in his article of 191) Lenin meant by the organization of Socialist produc tion, not the setting up of a Socialist society but an immeasurably more elementary task which has already been realized by us in the Otherwise one would have to come to the absurd conclusion that, according to Lenin, the proletarian party, having captured power, postpones the revolutionary war until the third generation.
Suchithat is, truly said is the position of the main stronghold of the new theory as far as the 1915 quotation is concerned. However, it is even more sad when we know that Lenin wrote this passage not in application to Russia. He spoke of Europe in contradistinction to Russia. This follows not only from the content of the quoted passage dedicated to the question of the United States of Europe. but also from Lenin entire position at the time. few months hence, November 20, 1915, Lenin wrote specially on Russia, saying. The task of the proletariat follows obviously from this actual state of affairs. That task is a relentless heroic revolutionary struggle against the monarchy (the slogans of the January conference of 1912 three stages. a struggle which would attract all democratic masses, that is, first and foremost the peasants. At the same time a ruthless Struggle must be waged against chauvinism, a struggle FOR THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN EUROPE in alr liance with its proletariat. The war crisis HAS STRENGTHENED the economic and political fac»
tors driving the petty bourgeoisie, including the peasantry, towards the Left. Therein lies the ob»
pective basis of the absolute possibility of a victory of the DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION in Russia.
That the OBJECTIVE CONDITIONS FOR SOCIALIST REVOLUTION HAVE FULLY MATURED IN WESTERN EUROPE there is no need to prove. This was recognized before the war by all influential Socialists of all advanced countries. Vol. 13, page 212. Our emphasis. Thus, in 1915, Lenin clearly spoke of a demo. ratic revolution in Russia and of a Socialist Rev olution in Western Europe. In passing, as of some thing which is selfrevident, he mentions that in Western Europe, distinct from Russia, in contra distinction to Russia, the conditions for a Socialist revolution have fully matured, But this quo tation one of manyiwhich squarely and directly refers to Russia, the authors of the new theory, the authors of the draft program, simply ignore as they ignore hundreds of other passages, as they ignore all of Lenin works. Instead of taking notice of this, they, as we have seen, take another passage which refers to Western Europe, ascribe to it a meaning which it cannot and does not mean to have, attach this ascribed meaning to Russia, a country which the passage did not have in mind, and on this foundation they build their new.
theory.
What was Lenin position on this question imr mediately before the October period? On leaving Switzerland after the February revolution in 1917, Lenin addressed a letter to the Swiss workers in which he declared. Russia is a peasant country, it is one of the most backward countries of Europe. Socialism cannot be IMMEDIATELY triumphant there. But the peas ant character of the country with the huge funds of land in the hands of the aristocracy and land OWners, CAN, on the basis of the experiences of 1905, give a tremendous impetus to the bourgeois democratic revolution in Russia and make our rev olution a PRELUDE to the world Socialist revolu tion, 2: STEP towards it. The Russian prole tarian party cannot by its own forces VICTORIOUSLY COMPETE the Socialist revolution. But it can give the Russian revolution dimensions such as will create the most favorable conditions for it, such as will in a certain sense BEGIN it. It can facilitate matters for the entrance into a decisive battle on the part of its MAIN and most reliable ally, the EUROPEAN and American socialist proletariat. Vol. 14, part page 407. All elements of the question are contained in these few lines. If Lenin believed in 1915. in time of war and reaction, as they try to convince us. ment mu FORE froze With this :ue The Make tant prints 1, second int stallment of. The Draft Program of the Commu nist Internaln. n: Cri»
ticism of Fundamentals by rotsky. This document, a masterpiece of Marxist Lenin literature was submitted by comrade Trot»
sky to the Si Vorld Conr gress of the Tommunist Inl ternational hich finally adopted the draft program drafted by , mrades Bucha»
rin and Stali1. without any importantch ges. The en!
tire validity of this timely and fundame gal criticism re!
mains in fe of the fact that it was Kept from the Congressand never discussed by the dele fies. The sole attention acc ded it was its distribution members of the Prograle Commission and a repo on the decor merit to the Senioren Kon vent of the longress which immediately settled the is sue without if scussion. rigid fontrol on this document as established forthwith a rd th e few copies of the (locument which were distril. ted were rer. calledrby clir gramme Our publication 1: in authentic copy which (e have, just re«
ceived. It fit jfly with the role of can Im perialifii and 2spect of new rev tuations, the re ionis. of So: cialisn. in one ntry, with the inese lotion and its lessons, ar th the for!
matiow ofrwe. and peas ants V3. 1 Trotsky, in line 3m, rundemns in prii:iplé Trotsky com!
ment in thef Allian wi the film erg: 53v led b, 11. up especially interc mg rim munist e in full consecutively 1L is and the forthcoming issues of The Militant with ut any changes.
Its basic im rtance for the international revolutionary movement a the unanswerr able correct 53 of its posir tion oh the wing problems of the Corn unist Interna tional make an invaluable contribution the Bolshevik literature of our period. Editor. if December 1, 1928.
now, that the proletariat of Russia can alone build up Socialism so as, when it will have accomplished this work, to be able to declare war on the hour geois States, how can Lenin, at the beginning of 1917, after the February revolution, speak so cat; egorically about the impossibility for backward peasant Russia to build up Socialism with its own forces? One must at least to some extent be log!
ical and, to he candid, have some respect for Lenin.
It would be superfluous to add more quotations.
To give an integral outline of Lenin economic and political views conditioned by the internationl al character of the Socialist revolution, would re quire an independent investigation which would include many subjects except that of building up a selfasufficing Socialist society in one country, for Lenin did not know this subject.
However, we feel compelled to mention her e one more article by Leninirthat On Coopera iion. as the draft program seems to quote it extensively, e. uses some of its expressions with a purpose which has nothing in common with that of the article. We have in mind the fifth chapter of the draft program which says that the workers of the Soviet Republics possess all the necessary and sufficient MATERIAL prerequisites in the country. for the complete construction of Socialism. Our emphasis. If the article dictated by Lenin during his illness and published after his death really says that the Soviet State possesses all the necessary and suffi cient MATERIAL, that is, first of all PROr DUCTIVE, prerequisites for an independent con!
struction of complete Socialism, one would only have to surmise that either Lenin slipped in his dictation or the stenographer made a mistake in deciphering her notes. The one or the other is at any rate more proble than Lenin abandonr ment of Marxism and his own teachings in two hasty strokes, Fortunately, however, there is not the slightest need whatever for such an explana tion. The remarkable, although incomplete article On Cooperation, bound up by unity of thought with the other no less remarkable articles of his last period which constitute, so to say, a chapter of an unfinished book dealing with THE PLACE OCCUPIED BY THE OCTOBER REVOLUr TION IN THE CHAIN OF REVOLUTIONS IN THE VEST AND EAST, does not by any means speak of the things which the revisionists of Leninism so light midedly ascribe to it.
In that article Lenin explains that the trading cooperatives can and must entirely change their social role in the workers state and that by a cor, rect policy they may direct the merging of private peasant interests with the general state interests along Socialist channels. Lenin substantiates this irrefutable idea as follows. In reality, power of the state over all large scale means of production, state power in the hands of the proletariat, an alliance of that proletariat with the millions of small and dwarfish peasants, security of proletarian leadership in relation to the peasants is this not all that is necessary for the cooperatives, the cooperatives alone, which we have formerly treated as mere traders and which, from a certain viewpoint, we still have the right to treat them as such even now under NEP, is this not all that is necessary for the complete construction of Socialist Society? It is not yet the construction of Socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this construction, i(Vol 18, part 2, page 140. Te text of the passage which comprises an un»
finished sentence. of the cooperatives alone. irrefutably proves that we have before us an un corrected draft which was dictated and not writ ten. It is the more inadmissible to cling to a few individual words of the text rather than trying to get a general idea of the article. Fortunately, however, even the LETTER of the cited passage, and not only its SPIRIT, grants no one the right to misuse it in the manner it is being misused by the authors of the draft program. Speaking of the necessary and sufficient prerequisites Lenin strictly limits his subject in this article. He deals in it only with the question as to the ways and means by which we will reaéh Socialism through the numerous and disjointed peasant enterprises without new class upheavals, having the prerer quisites of the Soviet regime as our basis. The article is entirely devoted to the SOCIO ORGANr IZATIONAL FORMS of the transition from small private commodity economy to collective economy but not with the MATERIAL PROr DUCTIVE conditions of that transition.
If the European proletariat were victorious to CRITICISIW 0F FUNDHMEZVTALS MILITANT THE day and would come to our assistance with its technique, the question of cooperation raised by Lenin as a socio organizational method of coordir nation of private with social interests would still retain its significance. Cooperation points the way through which advanced technique including electricity can reorganize and unite the millions of peasant enterprises under the Soviet regime; but cooperation cannot be substituted for technique and does not create that technique. Lenin does not merely speak of the necessary and sufficient prerequisites in general, but, as we have seen, definitely enumerates them. They are: 1) power of the State over all large scale means of produc tion (an uncorrected phrase. 2) State power in the hands of the proletariat. 3) an alliance of that proletariat with the millions of. peasants. 4) security of proletarian leadership in relation to the peasants. It is only after the enumer ation of these PURELY POLITICAL conditions nothing is said here about material conditions that Lenin arrives at his conclusion that this (that is, the enumerated) is all that is necessary and sufficient for the building up of a Socialist society. All that is necessary and sufficient FROM POLITICAL ASPECT, but no more.
But, adds Lenin right there and then, it is not yet the construction of Socialist society. Why?
Because political conditions alone, although they be sufficient do not solve the whole problem. The cultural question still remains. ONLY this says Leninfiemphasizing the word only and putting it in quotation marks in order to show the tremendous importance of the prerequisites which we do not have. That culture is bound up with technique, Lenin knew as well as we. To be culturall ahe brings back the revisionist to earth a certain MATERIAL basis is necessary. Ibid. page 145. It will suffice to mention the problem of electri fication which Lenin, we will mention in passing, purposely linked up with the question of the inter national social revolution. The struggle for cul ture with the possession of the necessary and suf ficient political (BUT NOT MATERIAL) pre requisites, would exhaust our work were it not for the question of the uninterrupted and irreconcil able economic, political, military and cultural struggle of the country which is engaged in the building of a Socialist society on a backward basis with world capitalism which is on its decline but is technically powerful. am ready to state emphasizes Lenin particu larly towards the end of the article. thar the center of gravity for us is being transferred to cultural work were it not for the international relations, were it not for the duty to fight for our positions on an international scale. Ibid. page 24. Such is Lenin real idea if we analyze the article on cooperation, even if isolated from all his other works. How else can we style, if not as a falsifir cation, the formula of the authors of the draftwho deliberately take Lenin words about our posses sion of necessary and sufficient prerequisites and add to them the basic material prerequisites although Lenin definitely speaks of the material prerequisites in parenthesis, saying that it is just what we do not have and what we must still gain in our struggle for our position on an interna»
tional scale, that is, in connection with the inter national proletarian revolution?
That is how matters stand with the second and last stronghold of the theory. We purposely did not take here those articles and speeches written and uttered during the entire course of 190571923 in which Lenin says and repeats most categorically that without a victorious revolution we are doomed to failure, that it is impossible to defeat the hour; geoisie economically in one country, particularly a backward country, that the task of building up a Socialist society is in its very essence an inter national task from which Lenin drew perhaps pessimistic conclusions for the promulgators of the new national reactionary utopia but which are sufficiently optimistic from the viewpoint of revr olutionary internationalism. We concentrate our argument here only on the passages which the authors of the draft have themselves chosen and which are supposed to create the necessary and sufficient prerequisites for their utopia, and yet we see that their whole structure collapses. All one has to do is but touch it.
However, we consider it in place to present at least one of Lenin direct statements on the quer stion under consideration, which does not need any Page By TROTSKY comment and will not permit any misinterpretation. Vi HAVE EMFHASIZED IN MANY OF OUR WORKS, IN ALL OUR SPEECHES AND IN THE WHOLE OF OUR PRESS that matters in Russia are not such as IN THE ADVANCED CAPITALIST COUNTRIES, that We have in Russia a minority of industrial workers and an overwhelm ing majority of small agrarians. The social revolu tion in such a country can be finally successful only on two conditions: First, on the condition that it is given TIMELY support by the social revolution of one or several advanced countries. Second, that there be an agreement between the proletariat which establishes the dictatorship or holds State power in its hands and the majority of the peasantry. We know that ONLY AN AGREEMENT WITH THE PEASANTRY CAN SAVE THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION IN RUSSIA SO LONG AS THE REVOLUTION IN OTHER COUNTRIES HAS NOT ARRIVED. Lenin, Vol. 18, part 1, pages 137 138. Our emphasis. We hope that this passage is sufficiently in structive. Firstly, Lenin himself emphasizes in it that the ideas which he advanced have developed in many of our works, in all our speeches, and in the whole of our press. secondly, this outlook was uttered by Lenin not in 1917. two years be»
fore the October Revolution, but in 1921, the. fourth year after the October revolution.
As far as Lenin is Concerned, we venture to think that the question is clear enough. One only has to ask nowfiwhat was formerly the opinion of the authors of the draft program as to the basic questions now in hand?
On this question, Stalin said in November 1926. The Party always took as its starting point the idea that the victory of Socialism in one country means the possibility a) build up Socialism in that country. and that this task can be accomplished with the forces of one country. Pravda, September 12, 1926. We already know that the Party NEVER TOOK THIS AS STARTING POINT. On the contrary in many of our works, in all our speeces and in the whole of our press, the Party proceeded from the contrary position which found its highest expression in the program of the OP. But one would hope that at least Stalin himself always held this false view that Social!
ism can be built up with the forces of one coun try. We will see.
What Stalin thought of this question in 1905. and 1915 we have absolutely no means of knowing as there are no documents on the matter whatever.
But in 1924 Stalin gave an outline of Lenin Views on the building up of Socialism, as follows The overthrow of the power of the bourgeoisie and the putting up of a proletarian government in one country does not yet guarantee the complete Victory of Socialism. The main task of Socialismthe ORGANIZATION OF SOCIALIST PRO«
DUCTION vstill remains ahead. Can this task be.
accomplished, can the final victory of Socialism in one country be attained, without the joint efforts of the proletariat of several advanced countries? No, this IS IMPOSSIBLE. To overthrow the bourgeoime, the efforts of one country are sufficient the victory of our revolution bears this out. For the final victory of Socialism, FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION. THE EFFORTS OF ONE COUNTRY, PARTICULAR!
LY OF SUCH PEASANVT COUNTRY AS RUSSIA, ARE INSUFFICIENT. For this the ef«
forts of the proletarians of several advanced coun fines are necessary. Such, on the whole, are the characteristic features of Lenin theory of the proletarian revolution. Stalin, Lenin and Leninism, Russian 1924 edition, pages 4041. One must admit that the characteristic features of Lenin theory are outlined here quite correctly.
In the later editions of Stalin book this passage was altered to read in just the opposite way and the characteristic features of Lenin theory were developed within a year as. Trotskyism. The Seventh Plenum of the passed its decision, not on the, basis of the 1924 edition but of the 1926 edition. That is how the matter stands with Stalin. It could not be any sadder than that. One could, it is true, reconcile himself with this, were it not for the fact that matters are just as sad with regard to the Seventh Plenum of the There is one hope left and that is that at least Bucharin, the real author of the draft prograrn. always proceeded from the possibility of the realization of Socialismin one country. We shall see.
TO BE CONTINUED